Hard Power and Regional Diplomacy: The Dibb Legacy

Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy

Author/s (editor/s):

Raoul Heinrichs, William T. Tow

Publication year:


Publication type:

Book chapter

Find this publication at:
ANU Press

Raoul Heinrichs and William T. Tow, ‘Hard Power and Regional Diplomacy: The Dibb Legacy’, in Desmond Ball and Sheryn Lee, eds, Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy: Essays in Honour of Paul Dibb, Canberra: ANU Press, 2016, pp. 183-203.

Paul Dibb is the Australian who has most resembled the American model of a policy practitioner. He has been sufficiently nimble and eclectic to bestride both the hard power world of strategic and defence policy analysis and the delicate and often ambiguous world of diplomatic counsel and has engaged in both pursuits with unquestionable excellence. Tracing how Dibb has managed to do this is the primary theme of this chapter. The narrative that follows reveals at least two fundamental strands that merit such a discourse. First is his ability to apply his unparalleled understanding of how great power dynamics work in the Asia-Pacific region to specific policy tasks and objectives. Second, he has orchestrated the strengths and weaknesses of bilateral and multilateral security politics in ways that have facilitated regional confidence-building and Australia’s role in it.

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